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The English Pub


England has, over the years, become known for its pub culture. Pubs (short for Public Houses) grace almost every street and are known for their tradition and heritage. They date back to the time of Roman occupation in England, when the Italians had their taverns in which they would drink alcoholic beverages and socialise. When the Anglo-Saxons were in command, they had alehouses, which served a similar purpose.

Today, pubs are still social hubs in which alcohol is consumed and friends are made. Some pubs also serve meals, which are usually hearty, tasty dishes that are simple and filling. The pub culture dictates that there are, invariably, ‘locals’. These ones usually live and / or work close to the pub and frequent it, often sticking to the same drink each time they come. The various locals get to know one another and establish a warm culture of camaraderie. The pub is owned by a landlord.

Image of the Old pub in Ringwood, the New Forest, Hampshire, England
Old pub in Ringwood, The New Forest, Hampshire, England

Some pubs offer entertainment, invariably keeping its drinkers there for longer. This may include something simple, such as a television that shows sports, or something more exciting, like a darts board or a pool table. Some even have stand-up comedy performances, karaoke or strip shows.

In England, smoking has been banned in all indoor areas. Therefore, it is now illegal to smoke inside the pub or at the bar.

Beer is the most commonly drunk beverage at pubs. Therefore, they are usually well-stocked with many different brands and types of beer, both bottled and on tap (draught). In addition to ale, pubs also stock various wines as well as hard tack, such as brandy, whiskey, gin, cane, and so on.

By law, pubs can only open at 11h00 and can only serve drinks until 23h00 from Monday to Saturday and until 22h30 on Sunday. Nobody under the age of 18 is allowed to consume alcohol in England and such ones will not be served.


In a pub environment, patrons are expected to go to the bar, where they will order and pay for their drinks. They will then wait until they are given their drinks and then carry them back to their table for consumption. There are not waiters that are going to serve customers at their tables. In addition, it is not expected that everyone from one table will go to the bar to order their drink, but that one or two representatives will take care of this chore.

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks holds the Guinness Book of Records title for being the oldest pub in England. It is situated in St Albans, Hertfordshire, and claims to have been established in 1539 of our Common Era (CE). Although there are pubs that claim to be even older, these are yet to be approved officially. It was once known as The Round House, but was probably renamed sometime during the 1800’s. It is situated adjacent to the River Ver.